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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2018, Article ID 7235639, 10 pages
Research Article

Icaritin Provokes Serum Thrombopoietin and Downregulates Thrombopoietin/MPL of the Bone Marrow in a Mouse Model of Immune Thrombocytopenia

1National Key Research Laboratory of Natural and Biomimetic Drugs, Peking University, Beijing 100191, China
2Department of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100191, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Xiaoping Pu; nc.ude.umjb@321pxp

Received 6 April 2018; Revised 28 June 2018; Accepted 26 July 2018; Published 27 August 2018

Academic Editor: Raffaele Capasso

Copyright © 2018 Ke Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is a common acquired autoimmune disease, and thrombopoietin (TPO) is an important cytokine that regulates the production of megakaryocytes and platelets. We have identified a biologically active component, icaritin, from a Chinese herba epimedii extract. Icaritin promotes platelet production and regulates T cell polarization, but its mechanism is not clear. In this study, the BALB/c mouse model of ITP was established by injection of an antiplatelet antibody every other day for seven total times. The antiplatelet sera were derived from guinea pigs immunized with the platelets of BALB/c mice. Mice with ITP were treated with icaritin at low, moderate, or high doses of 4.73, 9.45, and 18.90 mg/kg, respectively, for fourteen consecutive days. The present study shows that icaritin can significantly increase peripheral blood platelet counts and thrombocytocrit, increase the TPO level in serum, attenuate splenomegaly, and reduce the abnormal proliferation of megakaryocytes in the spleen and bone marrow. Icaritin can also downregulate the expression of bone marrow TPO, myeloproliferative leukemia virus oncogene (MPL), and p-Stat3. Our results suggest that icaritin can significantly improve the health of mice with ITP via possible downregulation of p-Stat3 expression in the JAK2/Stat3 phosphorylation signaling pathway and regulation of bone marrow TPO/MPL metabolism.